A monologue from the play by Lord Byron

download the complete text of Heaven and Earth

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Lord Byron: Six Plays. Lord Byron. Los Angeles: Black Box Press, 2007.
  • RAPHAEL: I came to call ye back to your fit sphere,
    In the great name and at the word of God.
    Dear, dearest in themselves, and scarce less dear
    That which I came to do: till now we trod
    Together the eternal space; together
    Let us still walk the stars. True, earth must die!
    Her race, return'd into her womb, must wither,
    And much which she inherits: but oh! why
    Cannot this earth be made, or be destroy'd,
    Without involving ever some vast void
    In the immortal ranks? immortal still
    In their immeasurable forfeiture.
    Our brother Satan fell; his burning will
    Rather than longer worship dared endure!
    But ye who still are pure!
    Seraphs! less mighty than that mightiest one,
    Think how he was undone!
    And think if tempting man can compensate
    For heaven desired too late?
    Long have I warr'd,
    Long must I war
    With him who deem'd it hard
    To be created, and to acknowledge him
    Who midst the cherubim
    Made him as suns to a dependent star,
    Leaving the archangels at his right hand dim.
    I loved him—beautiful he was: oh, heaven!
    Save his who made, what beauty and what power
    Was ever like to Satan's! Would the hour
    In which he fell could ever be forgiven!
    The wish is impious: but, oh ye!
    Yet undestroy'd, be warn'd! Eternity
    With him, or with his God, is in your choice:
    He hath not tempted you; he cannot tempt
    The angels, from his further snares exempt:
    But man hath listen'd to his voice,
    And ye to woman's—beautiful she is,
    The serpent's voice less subtle than her kiss.
    The snake but vanquish'd dust; but she will draw
    A second host from heaven, to break heaven's law.
    Yet, yet, oh fly!
    Ye cannot die;
    But they
    Shall pass away,
    While ye shall fill with shrieks the upper sky
    For perishable clay,
    Whose memory in your immortality
    Shall long outlast the sun which gave them day.
    Think how your essence differeth from theirs
    In all but suffering! why partake
    The agony to which they must be heirs—
    Born to be plough'd with years, and sown with cares,
    And reap'd by Death, lord of the human soil?
    Even had their days been left to toil their path
    Through time to dust, unshorten'd by God's wrath,
    Still they are Evil's prey, and Sorrow's spoil.